Archive for the 'Book Picked Me' Category

The Fiction Class

Thoughts tfcbysb The Fiction Class by Susan Breen, A Plume Book 2008, 304 pages

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I like the cover.

It must be a great act of courage for a writer to teach writing. I know I would wonder about my student’s perception of my “success” or lack of success and how necessary this is to be qualified to teach. Whenever I do have a crisis in confidence when eyes are on me to explain or share or ‘deliver a lesson’, I always tell myself that I only need to know SOMETHING/ANYTHING more than the students. And we all know something that can be shared and appreciated. I don’t have to be an expert.

Anyway, I do believe good teaching rarely requires total mastery in a field. The most educated and masterful mathematician could be lousy at teaching. A great teacher inspires and pushes and encourages creativity, experimentation and practice. A great teacher is NOT the one who stands in front of the class and dumps information. Our goals can be for PBL – Project Based Learning opportunities!

Which writing fits into. Writing is creative and story-based; a story is a project, if you will. Writing is a craft with tools and techniques. The tools are words and techniques vary. A great writer just might be a horrible teacher and perhaps the best teacher is not the best-selling author. Teachers are facilitators and coaches.

You can click on the book cover above for the goodreads.com blurb on The Fiction Class if you want to know more about it. I’m rating it three slices of pie. NOTE – this is an ARC. I only saw a few typos. I am willing to send this book to anyone who wants it.

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Somewhat related to this…  Read, come back and share if you agree: “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I Don’t Teach in One” by Ryan Boudinot. There have been some responses (ahem) to this post and the comments are full of controversy.

I think Writing is a talent; some are born with more talent than others. As with Leaders. I also believe that great leaders can be built and just because you don’t have the bright talent at birth does not mean you can’t be a great leader. Same with writing.

I think it takes a great act of courage to WRITE.

Write on!

 

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

 

The Winter’s Tale

Thoughts twtbywsa_ The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, Blackstone Audio 2014 (orig 1609), ~3 hours

Narrated by LOTS of people. Click on the button above to link to Audible.doc and get all the details.

FOR:  The Back to the Classics Challenge:  Play

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  From the Publisher’s Summary

King Leontes of Sicilia is seized by sudden and terrible jealousy of his wife Hermione, whom he accuses of adultery. He believes the child Hermione is bearing was fathered by his friend Polixenes, and when the baby girl is born he orders her to be taken to some wild place and left to die. Though Hermione’s child escapes death, Leontes’ cruelty has terrible consequences. Loss paves the way for reunion, and life and hope are born out of desolation and despair.

One of the late romances in Shakespeare’s canon, this complex work is at times tragic, at times humorous, but always entertaining and enlightening.

I was ignorant of the story so I felt I needed to do more research before fully enjoying the language. I highly recommend watching this YouTube presentation in two parts by Salt n’ Pepper Shakespeare and THEN listening/reading/viewing this play:

RATING:  Three stars.  (Three for the play because I was a bit lost and it had a lot of musical interludes and it was tough to figure out the characters and five for the videos above!)

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

My List of King

Jill has told me to do this.

Allow me to present the books I have read by Stephen King; in order of how much I enjoyed the experience. Because King books for me are not just ‘books-read’ but ‘experiences-experienced’.

This ranking does not imply that the bottom of the list is bad or not good, just that the ones ranked higher were slightly more fun.

Five slices of pie
1. IT. Readalong, audiobook by Steven Weber. Sept 2012

2. 11/22/63 – only the fourth book by King and after many years’ lapse.  May 2012

3. Doctor Sleep – so much better than The Shining! when does a sequel ever do that? Readalong, audio Dec 2013

4. On Writing – I so enjoy nonfiction. Jan 2007

Four slices
5. Mr. Mercedes – really such fun characters to cheer for. Readalong June 2014

6. Lisey’s Story – inspired by On Writing to try his fiction (I was a snob and was scared)  June 2007

7. Carriebecause. Appreciate more after reading On Writing. Early 80s?! (High School, I think)

8. The Stand - first Readalong?? June 2012

Three slices
9. Under the Dome – Readalong (my post has lots of pie references) June 2013

10. The Shining - Readalong Feb 2013

11. Bag of Bones – Readalong (only pie reference noted “easy as pie”, really?!) Dec 2014

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Shall we go ahead and set a June Readalong for Misery?  Who’s in?!

 

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

What’s in a Name 7 and soon 8

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My favorite reading challenge is What’s in a Name.

For 2014, year 7 of this challenge, I read multiple books for one category but missed one category, the weather one. If I can make it happen, I will finish Wind, Sand and Stars by 12/31. I heartily HEARTILY recommend Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint Exupéry to anyone for any reason, by the way. This will be a reread for me. I own two copies.

By category:

  • Time – The Yearling / Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  • Number – Slaughterhouse-Five/Vonnegut (or Three Men in a Boat, or The Sign of Four…)
  • Name – My Antonia / Cather
  • Weather -
  • Royalty – The Count of Monte Cristo / Dumas
  • School – 101 Things I Learned in Film School / Landau

hey – FOUR of these are CLASSICS! I was on a classics role in ’14…

I had multiple choices for the Time and Royalty categories, too but didn’t read all the Queen books that I seem to be accumulating. Maybe 2015 should tackle this theme – I have books on most of the famous queens of history and am ready to read more nonfiction.

Now, announcing NEXT year’s WiaN8!

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Categories – books on my shelves that might fit:   wian8

  • Words ending with INGFirst You Try Everything by Jane McCaffery, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Chabon, or Music for a Torching by AMHomes
  • ColorColor by Victoria Finlay or Vreeland’s Girl in Hyacinth Blue
  • Familial Relationship – My choice is Sister Carrie (been wanting to read this forever; it has been on too many upcoming “gonna read” lists!) but I also have The Family Orchard by Nomi Eve which would work or The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory
  • Body of Water – I think I am going to vote that a flood IS sort of a body of water and choose Margaret Atwood’s Year of the Flood. But Two Rivers by T.Greenwood is an option.
  • CityHard City by Clark Howard
  • AnimalApe House – Sara Gruen or The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Bag of Bones Readalong

I’m in!  I’ve already listened to two hours!  Woo hoo.

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Now I can officially be a part of the group.

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

East of Eden

Thoughts eoebyjs by John Steinbeck, Penguin Books 2002 (orig 1952), 601 pages, Tradeback AND Audiobook (narrated by Richard Poe, 25’28”)

So GOOD. Amazing work of fiction. Thank you Estella for suggesting I read along! EastofEdenReadalong-1024x1024

Page 255 – “What is there to understand? Just read it. If the Lord God wanted you to understand it He’d have given you to understand or He’d have set it down different.” (Amen Liz!)

Five slices of pie.

Five juicy perfectly-pastried slices of plum pie. With home-made vanilla ice cream from a hand-crank ice cream maker. Why plum? because something about this book reminds me of sandhill plums. I couldn’t find any reference to the possibility of these kinds of plums being found in Salinas Valley CA but who cares. I apparently found (or recorded) only one reference to pie in this amazing work of fiction. (TSBOOToTaOBtRBYDB!)

Page 494 – “I am so cowardly. I will not put my finger in any human pie.” (Lee – one of the BEST characters EVER. Samuel is close second.)

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Page 509 – “That smart little son of a bitch – wrong word – must not call him that.” (Cathy – one of the most despicable characters EVER. Just whoa.)

If you like epics and stories of good versus evil with some startlingly clear and wise statements about humanity that don’t beat you on the head but just suggest, then you will appreciate this story. It has everything and Steinbeck achieves this masterfully.

Thoroughly enjoyable on all of my what-I-love-about-fiction buttons.

NOT intimidating. In fact, I am not sure what symbols I missed. Steinbeck LOVES his symbolism, doesn’t he? Oh well.

What I love about reading, especially with historical glimpses into the human condition, is that I get to realize that times have always been NUTS, people have always had its crazies and its wonders, and NOW isn’t anything special or more crazy worse or whatever. Olden days weren’t nicer or better or anything. Life is messy. And we’ve been on this path for a long, long time.

Page 494 – “Laughter comes later, like wisdom teeth, and laughter at yourself comes last of all in a mad race with death,…”

TSBOOToTaOBtRBYDB = This Should Be One of the One Thousand and One Books to Read Before You Die Books.

BEST WORDS EVER!  “Bumptiousness” – page 215

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I still have no interest in reading The Grapes of Wrath even though it won the Pulitzer. You can’t make me.

But I’ll agree to think about it.

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Still Here…

Hello,

I’ve missed you, my little blog…

IMG_3520 IMG_3524 IMG_3522  Newport RI.

You take a little unplanned break and then come back to find a new WordPress editor. Let’s see what happens. I can share a few thoughts on the books I’ve managed to read lately. I’ll tell you that my audiobook-listening has ground to a halt – but I can explain, I think. And just say howdy.

Plus send a big hearty welcome to SomeWhereInABook! I hope I can soon find a few past blog posts to re-link to, if that’s not too much to ask. (Specifically, the Gone Girl one…)

Um, where’s the SAVE-DRAFT button?!

Moving on, just keep going, right?

A Walk in the Woods awitwbybb by Bill Bryson – I liked it very much. Learned a lot about trees and flora and geology, too. Recommended.

 

Out of My Mind oommbysd by Sharon M Draper – Loaned to me from a friend, very apropos of my latest class for school. This is the story from the viewpoint of a 5th grader with cerebral palsy who is very smart but cannot communicate her smarts until she finds an Assistive Technology device that allows her a voice. The book has some very good points to share and perhaps some misses in the delivery and odd plot points. Read through the goodreads.com reviews for examples. I enjoyed meeting Melody and reminded again that we all want to belong and contribute. Respect.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy hhgttg by Douglas Adams is exactly what I feared it might be. Sadly, I feel too late to the introduction of it in my life with the story over-hyped for me to truly appreciate its brilliance. Overall, a fun read. 42 (And I think I should plug Jenn Thorson’s There Goes the Galaxy which I read last December and which (now I realize) obviously took inspiration from Adams and his famous book/series. I gave that 4 stars.)

And now, obviously, I recognize that I have been too long away from blabbing about books. I’ll try to do better with my next East Of Eden post. Whoops – that was probably due today?

Carry on. Toodles.

loveCare

I really can’t explain why I haven’t been in the mood to listen to a book. I’ve been BUSY? and got out of the habit. I’ll mow the lawn tomorrow, plug in to The Count of Monte Cristo and see if I remember much. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Humans

Very Quick Thoughts thbymh by Matt Haig, Canongate Books 2013, 304 pages, eBook

I liked this very much.

It had a fun premise – alien must come to earth and destroy some information that earthlings are not yet ready for. The alien decides that he actually likes these primitive people and must make a choice.

I really liked the philosophy. It was witty and warm and wise.

I loved the dog.

I appreciate my friend Nancy who told me to read this. You can read her review here.

Life is crazy for me right now; ask any questions if you have any. For example, QUESTION: ‘Hey Care, is this science fiction?’ ANSWER: ‘Ya know, I have such a tough time that question because I don’t know what frame of reference you are asking that question through. I can tell you that it is a very HUMAN book, more than a book about aliens.’

The book cover above (another cute dog on a cover!!) will link you to goodreads, if you need to know more.

Have a nice day!

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Books in the House

I thought I posted this! Oooops. I’m going through my post drafts.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – FINALLY. And links well to my Bryson A Walk in the Woods (doh – hiking.)

James and the Giant Peach – gift from a friend, read and probably won’t review

Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper – YA, loaned by a friend

Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Winner The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Thanks Fizzy! I’m a bit intimidated, actually.

Home by Marilynn Robinson, because I was so impressed with Gilead. Purchased at an Independent Book Store Bargain Shelf “Previously Read”.

East of Eden – Readalong!!!

The Secret Life of Violet Grant – selected solely on loving the name/color Violet.

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More random stuff about books and reading:

I have pushed on with my audiobook of The Count of Monte Cristo and despite the. halting. odd intonations. of. the narrATOR! I am quite swept up in the story and even dreamed about Royalist vs Bonapartist ideology. Yikes, right?

“Oh the heartless scoundrels!  … Is the world filled with tigers and crocodiles?!”

I downloaded the audiobook for East of Eden. Ready to go!

A long time ago which I failed to note with my not quite established habit to secure a post-it note in the front cover of books loaned to me, MBR gave me Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. I have dipped into it often but it never ‘took’. Finally, I left it at the treadmill and have been regularly reading as I walk the Weight Loss 2 setting (30 minutes, ~1.72 miles) and now I’m on a push to finish the damn thing. I’m on to the Massachusetts chapter, about 25% remains. Though I have heard it is SO FUNNY, I’m actually finding it quite sad. The Park Service has limited funds or misuses it, the aphids are eating the hemlocks, unsolved brutal murders…  I have no ambitions to hike the AT but I am inspired to visit Mt. Greylock in Mass.

Side note: yesterday, I read about his visit to Harper’s Ferry and, of course, the name John Brown was mentioned. That is more motivation or a clue to get McBride’s The Good Lord Bird. (If any of my family is reading this, think Christmas present.)

School started two days ago. I will be alternating between feeling successful that I finished a project on time and stressing about doing such  — over the next four weeks. Right now I’m on the happy side of that pendulum. I have nothing due for two days and it is only commenting/responding. I suppose I should read what will come after that…

I got me a new laptop! A Microsoft Lenovo ThinkPad just so I can practice on this style – nothing more embarrassing than to sit at somebody’s computer and not know how to work that crazy mouse. I need to be fluent in all kinds computers for my job. I’m excited to play with it. I will create a nutty picture doing my homework surrounded by a Macbook, a ThinkPad, two iPads and an iPhone just to search the internet. I’m SO prepared. Bring it on.

Also yesterday (yesterday was a kick ass day overall – did lots of good things), I read on Iris’ blog that she has exceeded the 100 book count on the list of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die and it occurred to me that I didn’t know MY count. According to my shelf in goodreads, I’m at 50. But that might not be all on the READ shelf, so I am astonished at 100+. Way to go!

OK, this was supposed to be a short update post. Gotta run.

loveCare

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Ms. American Pie

Thoughts IMG_2799 Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bold Tales From the American Gothic House by Beth Howard, Race Point Publishing 2014, 207 pages

[I was given this book by the publisher. I was going to buy it anyway and I knew I was going to LOVE it; I am a big fan of the author. I recommend her first book, a memoir. About grief and how pie heals. Click here to read my review of Making Piece, 2013]

Ms. Howard is no-nonsense. She doesn’t believe in tiptoe-ing around any delicate or fussy  ideas of the RIGHT way to make a pie.” JUST DO IT” is more her motto and her cookbook reflects this. So if you are intimidated by pie making but want or need some of that tough love to just jump into a bowl of flour and (quickly, gently) work in that butter, THIS is the cookbook for you.

AND she is nice about it, she can put one at ease. It just doesn’t matter how the pie might look! Pie is NOT fussy, pie doesn’t have to be pretty-pretty. Pies (almost) always taste fabulous. Ms. Howard gives all the right pointers to ensure you have fun while putting that pie together and tells you not to worry, it will all be fine.

Early in this book, we get Howard’s PIE-OLOGY which lists many lofty, true and good things about pie, finally stating, “Pie makes people happy and happy people make the world a better place.” She also busts most of myths surrounding pie lore. She answers a ton of often asked questions and offers plenty of how-to photos.

Pie is good.

So far, I have made the Apple (Pies to Heal, p. 45 for Memorial Day with using the Hand Pie technique described on p. 190) – I even made the caramel sauce. YUM! photo 4

I made the Cherry (another Pie to Heal, p. 50) IMG_3021 with the Gluten Free Pie Crust (p. 33) and it was fabulous! The Strawberry Rhubarb (p. 83) I made for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day (June 9) was absolutely perfect. I took the Shaker Lemon (Pie Recipes of the Pitchfork Pie Stand, p. 90) IMG_3123 to the boat crowd and everyone loved it. (I am embarrassed to admit that I’m somewhat proud of my edges on these two – you all know I’ve been making pies a long time and I give talk about how I should try to make the perfect crimp but then I think it wouldn’t look like a Care-Pie…)

My friend made the Spaghetti Pie on p.180 and RAVED about how awesome it was.

I have many many more to try.  pierating1
Rating: Five slices of pie.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PIE BOOK!

loveCare

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

I prefer pi.

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